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In a heartfelt display of desperation and faith, a gathering of retired police officers organized a prayer rally in the capital city of Enugu last week.

Their fervent supplications sought divine intervention in response to the National Assembly’s persistent refusal to pass a crucial bill that aims to liberate them from the clutches of the Contributory Pension Scheme, a system they claim has left them destitute and burdened by hardship.

At the core of their impassioned plea lies the proposed bill currently under review by the National Assembly, which calls for the establishment of a dedicated Police Pensions Board responsible for managing retirement matters within the police force.

The retirees argue that their colleagues in the Nigerian Army and the Department of State Services have already severed ties with the onerous CPS, enabling their pension affairs to be handled smoothly by specialized boards created precisely for this purpose.

Christopher Odugu, the esteemed Chairman of Police Retirees in the state, addressed the gathering and conveyed their collective anguish over the severe adversities they encounter under the contributory pension scheme. His words reverberated with a poignant urgency, “We implore the Federal Government to amend the 2014 Pension Act, a vital step toward rescuing us from the precipice of destitution after dedicating 35 years of our lives in the service of this nation.”

Odugu further lamented the disparity between the meager lump-sum and monthly pension amounts they receive and the more favourable arrangements enjoyed by their counterparts in other security agencies, such as the retired Armed Forces, the Department of State Services, and the National Intelligence Agency.

He drew attention to the irony that the Nigerian Army, the DSS, and the NIA, which were all derived from the Nigeria Police and assume lesser responsibilities in safeguarding the nation, are afforded greater care and support, while the police force is left abandoned and neglected to suffer the consequences of their dutiful service.

The resounding plea echoing throughout the prayer rally was a poignant cry for justice and fair treatment. These police retirees, scarred by the hardship they endure, cling to the hope that their ardent prayers, combined with public awareness of their plight, will ultimately compel the authorities to rectify this grievous disparity and alleviate their burden. Until then, their unwavering faith remains their guiding light in the pursuit of a dignified and secure future post-retirement.

Source: The Punch

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